Who am I?
This is a question that I am sure all of us have asked at one point, or at several pivotal points in life. For me, it’s something that glares at me when I am doing a show away from home, because my role/roles in my home life are many. Lunch maker, car pool mom, mentor, voice teacher, self promoter, artist, score translator, wife, mom, website updater, neighborhood artsy lady with drum kit on which neighborhood kids can play…yes, like I said, lots of roles. Can I be someone away from my family? Who am I????
After an incredibly packed schedule of symphony work all over the country and much time learning, researching and prepping more music simultaneously, it was time for me to leave for my NYC and European debuts for over six weeks. Now, this is not new for me or my family. I had worked with theater groups and had been away for over 8 weeks at a time, so the “at home machine” is already well oiled. However it’s still so strange to me that simply stepping out of my everyday routine can cause near stress levels because I don’t remember what to do. What do I like to eat? What do I like to do? I know that couples feel that way and have date nights to counteract the fact that having children can take everything over in their lives, but drilling down to remembering and relearning who YOU are at the core is quite a different experience.
Being away for 7 weeks,10 days of it all alone in Vienna, taught me a lot…again. I realized…again….that I need time to myself. It’s not an option. I think that sometimes when we have roles as caregivers, we forget. I forget. Quiet time alone is essential to remind myself of who I am all by myself, why am I on this earth and what do I have to offer my art, my family and my community. These are questions we should all stop, and MAKE the time to ponder. The menial tasks of everyday hustle and bustle will still be there waiting for us when we come back to it, trust that! This quiet time with these specific kinds of questions can end up in a personal sort of mission statement and some workable perspective on how we can change the world around us. Change always begins with each individual.
So what did I find? How do I act when I don’t have to be an alarm clock, boo boo mender, advice giver and grocery shopper,on top 50 hours a week of working my craft and promoting my brand. Oh, the answer is thankfully, mostly the same. In my time alone, I truly can reclaim my absolute sense of spontaneity. I am just as embarrassing and weird by myself in foreign countries, playing in fountains and climbing statues, as I am when I am with my kids or my somewhat introverted husband. What you see is what you get!